Burn Notice

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: A- | Grade It Now!
Occupational Hazard
o be and when. Unfortunately, there are times when the only way to put your target in the line of fire is to be there yourself." Fi with her detonator, and Sam and Harlan with shotguns, are positioned in the surrounding train cars. Yes, so as Sam said, it is a perfect place for a clandestine meeting, as long as you don't mind a nearly infinite number of places where people could be lying in ambush before you get there. "Those are the times you just have to trust your team and hope everything goes right," Michael says. We get a shot of the bomb lashed to a nearby train car (alas, not the one that Fi's in, I don't think), and suddenly a pair of black SUVs scream onto the lot. And Rufino's not with them. Michael acts frustrated and ready to walk away, but Falcone grabs him by the arm again. The same one he dislocated yesterday, unfortunately. "Oh, yeah, just pull the arm out again. Feels good," Michael snarks, and says he can't go back to his clients without a meeting with Rufino. He pulls loose, but now Falcone has a gun, insisting that Michael can talk to him. Michael still refuses. "If you don't like it, shoot me," he says, walking away. It's moments like that when Michael comes closest to blowing his cover. Harlan wants to move in, but Sam says to hold off. While Michael is walking, Falcone fires a warning shot into the pavement behind him. Michael stops and even flinches a bit, but doesn't turn around; he just uses the fact that his hanky is at his nose as cover for waggling a warning finger at the still-hidden Fi. After a second shot ricochets past him, Michael gets tired of it and turns to Falcone, saying he can't do anything without a face-to-face meeting, no matter what Falcone does. "You're a determined man, Mr. Wellington," Falcone says, and says he can pick up Michael at an appointed time and place, and he'll meet with Rufino in the car. "If he likes what you have to say, we'll see about this deal. If not..." Falcone levels his gun again at Michael, but shoots wide, this time hitting the boxcar behind him. Another failed attempt, another commercial.

After the ads, it's nighttime, and Michael's on the phone in his loft, using his "sick" voice to confirm his meeting with Rufino on the phone for the next day. After hanging up, he goes downstairs to join Fi, Sam, and Harlan, the last of whom has just poured some of his beer into his yogurt cup to make some kind of foul float. "It's good this way," he insists, to even Fi's horror. I wonder of that's the kind with fruit on the bottom. Michael says, "Looks like the meeting's going to be on the move so no one can hit it. "Have to hit it on the move, then," Sam says agreeably.

As Harlan and Fi approach a gated lot with a flashlight and bolt cutters, respectively, and break in, Michael VOs about how different kinds of vehicles have different levels of security. "Garbage trucks, for example, are expensive. But the fact that they're hard to hide and harder to sell means that you don't find a lot of garbage truck alarm systems." And presumably those that do exist just make loud farting noises. While Fi picks the lock on one of the trucks, they make small talk about Michael. As she defeats the lock and gets up inside to start hotwiring, Harlan thanks her for her help, and all she asks in return is to take Michael out for drinks and "tell him life is worth living when you're not sneaking around for the government." A moment later, she's got the engine started, and they're gone. There's some kind of joke I could put here about Fi being at the wheel of a garbage truck, but even I don't hate her that much.

Meanwhile, at Madeline's house, Sam is using a street map and a shot glass to demonstrate his predicted route for the mobile meeting. "When they get to Dollars to Donuts [not an actual donut shop, as far as I can tell], they turn around and come back down this way, and we hit them right there." He demonstrates this by broadsiding the shot glass with a bolt, spilling M&Ms onto the map. "Sounds good, Sam," Michael agrees, popping one into his mouth. He seems a little cavalier about this considering he's going to be one of those M&Ms tomorrow, but you just know Jeffrey Donovan insisted on getting that in one take. He doesn't look like a guy who eats a lot of M&Ms. While he fiddles with a small, slim knife, Sam expositions about the Venezuelan commandos who according to Harlan will be waiting offshore, ready to swoop in and spirit Rufino away at dawn. He also comments on the nice leather briefcase Michael's about to ruin. "Guess it's for a good cause," he shrugs.

While continuing his work, Michael continues, "In enclosed spaces, a knife's often more effective than a gun. Easier to handle, easier to hide, and in the right hands, scary." With his knife modified to his liking, he tucks the finished product into the case's leather hinge cover, just as Madeline comes in. "When you asked to borrow your father's old briefcase, you didn't mention you were planning on stabbing someone," she says. Michael assures her it's "just in case," wisely refraining from mentioning that slashing is more his style anyway. Sam, sensing an argument coming, ducks into the garage for a beer, but Madeline tells Michael she doesn't want to know anyway. She's more worried about Harlan, of all things. "I mean, he's nice, but he's not exactly a rocket scientist," she correctly points out, "and hanging out with you isn't the safest thing in the world." "Mom, he's Special Forces," Michael says. But Madeline says he has a lot to prove to Michael, and she thinks that's dangerous. Well, she's half right. Before Michael clears out, he has one more thing to do: attach a back-up knife blade to the inside of his belt. Is that a trick he learned from another spy, or from a stripper? Yank on that just right, and out flops the banana hammock.

Next morning, waiting by the train tracks in his suit yet again, Michael VOs, "The rolling meeting is a popular security measure among high-end criminals. It's hard for law enforcement to bug, and it's a lot easier to detect any surveillance." By now, Michael is being ushered into one of the two black SUVs that have just pulled up. He continues, "Do it in an armored car with an armed team, it's not just a secure place; it's a fortress on wheels." With that, Michael finds himself in the back seat next to Rufino, behind Falcone in the shotgun seat, commenting on how roomy it is. The little convoy gets moving as his VO concludes, "If you're going to take on that fortress, you'd better have an army." That "army" consists of Sam, on a hotel balcony; Fi, behind the wheel of her stolen garbage truck; and Harlan, hanging out in the back of a black van with a BFG and a BFS. You probably already know what a BFG is, but if not, I'll give you a clue by explaining that the BFS is a big fucking sandwich. Michael's army sucks sometimes.

In the car, Falcone finishes searching just the inside of Michael's briefcase and hands it back to him, introducing the two principals to each other. Rufino wants to get to the point, which is that he's wondering who wants so much land. Except the real point is that he thinks Michael is undercover. Michael starts showing all the places he's not wearing a wire, and asks if they can get on with it. As Sam watches their approach through his binoculars, Rufino talks about what a big deal this is, and all the bad shit that will have to go down to make it happen. "Tell me why I should do a deal with ghosts who hide behind numbered bank accounts and liars!" He's decided the meeting is over, and orders the driver to stop. Which he does. Sam reports to Fi and Harlan by walkie-talkie that they've stopped. But Michael is trying to continue the meeting (and make sure it reaches the ambush point), even when Falcone points his gun at him and opens the door. He says that if he goes back to his (imaginary) clients empty-handed, he'll be killed, and basically gets Rufino to relent by begging and coughing into his handkerchief. Aw, that Rufino's just a big softie after all. Soon they're back on the move, which Sam reports to the rest of the team. Sam cues F

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Burn Notice




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